Making Ratlines for my 1/96th Constitution

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Making Ratlines for my 1/96th Constitution

  • Anybody out there have an easy way to make ratlines? I am building both the Constitution and Cutty Sark, both 1/96th and the kit supplied ratlines are awful. Also need suggestions for improving the three piece decks. The Cutty Sark decks look great, but the Connie is warped and the seams show way too much! I would be happy to just replace or fix the top deck on the Connie.

    Thank you in advance,  Bill

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  • Micro-Mark has  a Loom-a-Line

    http://www.micromark.com

    But I made my own 'rough'  jig out of scrap wood and some small nails to do the same thing.  At least I am gonna see how it works out.    I hate the kit ratlines too.   I haven't gotten to the point of needing the ratlines yet, but getting close for them.  

     

     

  • Thank you

  • Bill,

    You might find these two (rather lengthy) threads from this forum of some interest:

    1. /forums/t/70011.aspx?PageIndex=1

    2. /forums/t/129067.aspx?PageIndex=10

    I'm starting the Revell 1/96 Cutty Sark also.

    1943Mike

  • Looms are a complete waste of time. Unless the thing is set up to precisely match the spacing of the deadeyes and the length from them up to the tops, it all goes to hades and ends up being pulled this way and that way.

    Better by far to rig the stays, and then later tie across the foot lines as you see fit.

  • Bite the bullet and do them when the shrouds are already on the model. I have yet to see a jig that will make better ratlines than doing it in place. I do simplify and use a simple overhand knot rather than a clove hitch.  In those scales one is hard pressed to tell what kind of knot it is after it is tied.

    I find, experienced as I am at it, tying ratlines goes slowly on the first set of shrouds when I haven't done it in awhile.  But the second set on that mast goes faster, and my hands relearn it, and by the time I get to the second mast things are going a lot faster.  Tied ratlines look so much better than glued ones (even with an overhand knot) that it is worth the extra effort.

    Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Thanks everyone. So it looks like the ratlines would be some of the last rigging to do after all the running and standing rigging is done so you don't have to work around the ratlines. You just tie off the vertical lines first then start doing the smaller horizontal foot ropes???  Right?? Should keep one busy for a few days.

    Bill

  • Bill G,

        Don's right. My Constitution was my first sailing ship and I saw online this way to tie your own rat lines. Make a lined drawing to guide you with the correct spacing. Start at the bottom and tie each line with the help of tweezers. Its very important not to pull the vertical lines inward as you tie each knot. Don't worry about how horizontal each line is until you're ready to tack each one with a 50/50 mix of white glue and water. The first few lines will seem to take you forever but after you get the hang of it, and see the results, it will become much easier.

      My ratlines aren't perfect but they look a 100 times better than the stock parts.

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  • Those look great. At what stage of the rigging should you do the ratlines??

    Thanks, Bill

  • Thanks Bill,

       I started the ratlines after I had the masts up. And I know many are fans of using bees wax on the thread, I chose a different route. I coated the threads with dark brown paint. Placed some paint on a sponge and ran it the entire length of the thread, usually about six feet. Place a wooden clip on the end to get it to stay straight until it dried. Worked great. Over the years the thread hasn't gone slack regardless of time or humidity. 

      Also, in regards to the deck, I trued up the decks three pieces so they'd match better. Taped off about a 1/4 inch on either side and added a fine layer of spot putty. Sanded it level and painted. Added the missing lines with pencil after I painted the deck. This will shorten the length of the slightly and I added a very small quarter round piece at the rear to cover the difference. This will also change the angle of the masts so I removed a bit of the lowest part of the masts so the would not angle forward.It sounds complicated but its really quite easy.y.

  • Thank you. I am going to do the brown paint method. Great pictures too. Thanks again to everyone.

    Bill

  • Using  paint to de-fuzz and protect the rigging line from temperature and humidity changes is one of the best ideas I've seen for ANY kind of rigging on a model!  As an engineer, I'm always looking for ways to make things better so, I have a suggestion.  Because it did not normally move, a sailing ship's standing rigging was usually coated with tar so my suggestion would be to use black paint with a small touch of brown mixed in for the standing rigging and various shades of brown and tan for the running rigging.  Take a look at color photos of the Constitution, the Victory, or, the Cutty Sark and you'll see what I mean.

     

    All the best,

    Ray

     ]

     

     

  • Ray, great idea. I am so thankful that all of you have taken the time to indulge my silly questions, and have given me some really neat ideas, I am 67 and have been building models all my life but you always are learning something new, and a better way to do things.

    Thank a lot for your help.

    Bill

  • Bill G

    Thanks everyone. So it looks like the ratlines would be some of the last rigging to do after all the running and standing rigging is done so you don't have to work around the ratlines. You just tie off the vertical lines first then start doing the smaller horizontal foot ropes???  Right?? Should keep one busy for a few days.

    Bill

    No! the ratlines should be done as soon as shrouds are erected.  All standing rigging, including ratlines, should be done before any of the running rigging.  Many of us use special tools to do running rigging that needs to be belayed at pin rails near mast bases.  You need a little hook and a fork, with long handles. I make mine from crochet hooks and needles.

    Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • I agree with Don.

    Although it has been years since I built the Cutty Sark and Constitution, I tied the ratlines once the shrouds were up.

    I remember my experience dealing with the thread while tying the clove hitch knots.  While that knot isn't hard in full scale, when tying it with waxed thread it can seem as if the line has a mind of its own.  You will want all the room you can get to pass the line, tweezers, etc., between the masts and shrouds.  The last thing you'll want is lots of running rigging tied to the rails to get in your way.

    Have fun.

    Mike

     

    "Grumman on a Navy Airplane is like Sterling on Silver."